Disaster-Wiki (Actions)

Information Gathering & Understanding the Crisis Situation

This is where you start when a large-scale natural disaster strikes your home country. This initial step is crucial as it will eventually define the scope of your fundraising activities.

Establishing Partnership and Strategy Planning

Various networks will naturally emerge in the process of information gathering. In order to design successful fundraising activities, it is crucial that you develop your network, identify collaborators, and establish partnerships with various organizations.

The important points to cover for your strategy planning are the followings:
1) Develop your network

Though Columbia University graduate students took the lead of the fund-raising activities, collaboration occurred over a network with undergraduate students, students from different universities, local and international communities, business enterprises and government authorities. This collaboration developed the sense of strong bonding among students, collaborators and affected people.

2) Use social media wisely
Social media(e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google Group, Blog, Public Radio) provide effective means of communication, collaborations, and advertisement.

3) Have a face-to-face meeting early on
Online communication is a good place to start, but many groups at Columbia found having face-to-face meetings early on in the process to be crucial as multiplicities of perspectives spark many creative ideas in these discussions.

4) Use existing resources wisely and establish partnerships with multiple organizations
Most students have no prior experience coping with and fundraising for a large-scale natural disaster. Yet, often, school administration and offices such as International student Office already have infrastructures necessary for responding to large-scale crisis situations. Ask around and they will perhaps tell you things such as how to inform the community about the devastation of the disaster and where to set up donation boxes in the community. In some cases, they can even assist international students to go back to their home countries in case of a large-scale crisis situation.

5) Create and circulate letter templates for soliciting support and partnerships
Refer to Donation Letter , Letter Asking for Support

6) Request partner organizations to provide necessary funding/materials for your fundraising activities
University offices are often quite willing to cover the cost for the venue, printing, wristband, etc. Also, they can provide you pencils, markers, papers, or other needed materials.

7) Start labeling the email topics as the intensity of communication increases
Before you know it, your email account will be inundated with messages regarding the disaster and its relief efforts. It would be wise to develop mutual understandings about labeling email topics.

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